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Agriculture: Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN 6527, tabled on 24 May 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to support research on methods to mitigate or reduce emissions in farming.

Answered on

2 June 2021

While emissions in farming is a broad topic, the question is assumed to concern greenhouse gas emissions only, and I am responding accordingly.

The Prime Minister has been clear that tackling climate change is a priority for this Government. Since 1990 emissions from agriculture have reduced by 13%.

The Government is investing to unlock innovation and translate our world leading research into practical farmer-led solutions that improve the productivity, sustainability and resilience of agriculture. This includes reducing emissions from farming.

Our £90 million investment in the ‘Transforming Food Production’ (TFP) challenge, launched in 2018, is supporting ground breaking research and development so farmers will be able to harness the latest technology to produce high quality food, increase their productivity and move towards net zero emission farming systems by 2040. This will put the UK at the forefront of advanced sustainable agriculture and food production while reducing emissions, pollution, waste and soil erosion.

This initiative is enhanced by a recently launched Defra-funded collaborative agricultural Research and Development competition ‘Farming Innovation Pathways’) with an additional £12 million of funding targeting existing and new farm focused innovation, which will also be delivered through the TFP initiative.

From 2022 a new Research and Development funding programme for England will build on the success of TFP as part of the proposed measures to stimulate innovation and boost productive, sustainable, low emissions agriculture as we move away from the CAP system of farming subsidy payments.